Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Jack Holmes & his friend - Edmund White

This is my first Edmund White book and I was thoroughly impressed.This delicious novel is set in 1960s New York. Jack Holmes is ashamed of his sexuality and tries to rid himself of unwanted yearnings through women and therapists. All that changes when Will Wright enters his life and Jack falls head over heels in love with his new straight friend. So begins a lifelong friendship between a straight man and his gay friend.

This book was extremely sexual and did not shy away from the realities of gay life/sex. I must admit it could be quite repulsive at times. Nothing was sugar coated.

I absolutely loved Jack. He was such a wonderful character. There were many different facets to his personality. He was not perfect. He was oversexed, bitter at times and really mistreated the men he was with. There was one scene where he went over the physical shortcomings of his lovers and then was surprised that a young man he had slept with was humorous and easy to talk to. Lets just say that he was not in the business of getting to know his lovers. His desperate unrequited love for Will meant that he had trouble opening up to other men. I really don't know why he fell for Will as I found him utterly unlikable at times and it wasn't as though he was an Adonis.

Will's and Jack's relationship was flawed and strange. They were like two puzzle pieces that just didn't fit. However, these flaws were what made the story so engaging and interesting.

White's writing was impeccable and I felt that I took something away from this novel. Perhaps a new appreciation or understanding about men? I can't really say. However, this is an absolute must read. I think that I will have to read this previous novels. This review was hard to write, I didn't really know what to say or even how to express my love for this book. I hope that I have explained myself well enough.

Rating: 5

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